EU Social Partners in the fisheries sector launch a project to improve the social dimension of the CFP

The new joint project of the European social partners for sea fisheries (Europêche and ETF) has kicked off today in Amsterdam. Following a selection process, Europêche and ETF will count with the participation of specialists to develop a wide range of studies for a safer, healthier and more worker-friendly fisheries sector in Europe and worldwide. The action will focus on trade measures to combat forced labour, develop guidelines on recruitment of migrant fishers, develop a training programme for medical examination of fishers and update a mobile app to facilitate communication on fishing vessels (FisherySpeak).

Safety and health at sea have always been a top priority for both partner organisations involved in the EU project. This action seeks to propose concrete improvements to the EU fisheries policies that could offer better health, working conditions and safety at sea for fishers. In addition, the project aims at enhancing socially responsible fish sourcing and consumption in the EU market.

The activities of the project will run for the next two years. The Social Partners will meet during the European Maritime days of 2023 (Brest, France) and of 2024 (Svendborg, Denmark) to assess, measure and make progress. The final results will be presented in Brussels in the second half of 2024.

About the EU project

The project, co-funded by the EU, partially implements the work programme of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Sea Fishing in order to significantly make progress in various key areas of interest for Social Partners.

Pillar 1: Guidelines for vessel owners on decent recruitment of migrant fishers. The guidelines will be based on EU legislation and other binding international instruments and be used to constitute model contracts between a fisher and a private employment agency, between a fishing vessel owner and a private employment agency, and fisher’s work agreement.

To be developed by international expert on social affairs, Estelle Brendtall.

Pillar 2: Training programme for doctors performing medical examination of fishers. In the previous project, the Social Partners successfully developed guidelines on the medical examination of fishers. As a continuation of this work, it is essential for doctors, who conduct medical examinations and issue medical certificates, to receive training via guidance which fit the specificities of sea fishers.

To be developed by International Maritime Health Association (IMHA).

Pillar 3: Legal analysis on market and custom tools to combat forced labour in the fishing industry. This pillar will explore the possibility for EU to restrict or prohibit seafood imports from fishing vessels or countries identified for child or serious labour abuse including no respect of basic human rights on board fishing vessels.

To be developed by Marinnleg foundation.

Pillar 4: Upgrade of the ‘'Fishery Speak' app, an interactive glossary, providing an overview of the main phrases used on board a fishing vessel. The aim of this upgrade is therefore to add further languages identified as essential and the necessary uploads and technical updates of the mobile application.

To be developed by IT company, Innatial developers SL.


For further information, please contact:

              Daniel Voces, Europêche Managing Director (+ or

              Andrea Albertazzi, ETF Fisheries Policy Officer (+32.470.93.05.89 or


Sources: Europêche/ETF

Tags: Social Partners Sea Fisheries, etf, ITF, fisheries, trade, forced labour, Migrant Fishers, training, medical examination, fishing vessels, safety at sea, EU project, working conditions, social dialogue committee for sea fishing